Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 29, 2014 6:00am-9:01am EST

6:00 am
>> it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong. >> president obama laying out his agenda in the state of union, telling congress if they can't get the job done, he'll go it alone. >> a storm in the south creating problems, highways jammed leaving people stranded for hours. kids forced to sleep at school because it's not safe to travel.
6:01 am
>> uncovering a history of abuse. remains of more than 50 people have been found at a de-funk florida campus. people in need of quick cash may have a new loan option at work, why some say they could pay n unexpected price. >> good morning and welcome to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. >> president obama says he wants 2014 to be a year of action. he's pleging to work on behalf of all americans with or without congress. the president pitches his strategy to tens of millions, urging to divide a congress to unify and address education and immigration and other important issues. president obama warned that he's willing to get things done through executive orders, starting with bridging the
6:02 am
economic debt. >> upper mobility has stalled. the cold hard fact is that too many americans are working more than ever to get lie, let alode than ahead. >> republicans hit back. washington state senator cathy mcmorris rogers says the president's policies are hurting economic policies. the president talks about income and equality, but the real gap is one of opportunity and equality. with this administration policies, that gap has become too wide. we will have complete coverage of the state of the union, but first a desperate situation in the deep south. a rare winter storm with a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is wreaking havoc.
6:03 am
six states declared states of emergency. conditions have paralysed a big portion of the south. >> this is crazy out here. the south under siege as potentially record-breaking weather slammed the state. in barack obama cars are spinning out and trucks flipping over. unaccustomed to the road conditions, many drivers gave up. >> people abandoned their cars. we couldn't get by. the weather is causing chaos in the carolinas. freezing rain, sleet and snow made for such slick conditions that authorities shut down a bunch of bridges, over the boarder. the governor declared a state of emergencies, airports felt the breeze. deeper south in louisville, in the city of new orleans, they are also in ha state of
6:04 am
emergency. two major thorough fares shut down for safety. >> we are recommending that people stay off the roadways, it will be colder and the ice remain with us. the ice is making for treacherous travel. emergencies workers responded to 300 crashes. in tennessee students were stranded because buses could not run on impassable roads. southerners only have to stick it out for a few days, temperatures climbing back to normal into the 50s bid weekend. >> that storm system is causing big problems in atlanta. icy roads, strong traffic in the atlanta metro area. close to 1,000 accidents were reported. the governor of georgia issued an emergency declaration and called out the army to help. it caused flight cancellations
6:05 am
at jackson airport. >> what is a little disheartening that i don't understand is why they couldn't explain why if the weather was good in san antonio and fine in atlanta, why my flight was cancel. >> atlanta schools stayed open on tuesday, creating a set of problems. >> thousands of students were stranded at school. >> a victim of the weather is robert ray. he joins us on the phone 20 miles outside of atlanta. first of all, i hope you are okay. what happened? >> good morning. i'm fine. like thousands of others i've fallen victim to the sheets of ice covering the roads, the interstates and the roads off
6:06 am
the interstates. this morning i was making my way through a very hilly steep area and there was a vehicle coming at me. he lost control. i swerved. basically did a 180 and went up on to an embankment, nearly hitting another vehicle that was stranded overnight. there are dozens of cars on the street where i'm sitting that have been abandoned. last night i left down tonne atlanta at about 4:00 pm. it took me 9 hours to drive 20 miles north, arriving back to the area about 2am. i can tell you that there are hundreds of vehicles on the sides of the interstate that i came up on. many people got out of the cars and walked up ramps to try to get to safety. where they were trying to make
6:07 am
their way home, back to their home. the problem is what the situation is that the storm came in quickly. a lot of forecasters had issues trying to figure out how intense it would be. the school stayed open, the government was opened and at 2 o'clock everything shut down. the city left to get to their homes, causing gridlock in the area. if you listen to this there was nearly 1,000 students sheltering in schools, people stuck in cars. as you said, the state it patrols, the crashes in georgia and atlanta, one fatality to date. hundreds of injuries, and as late as 2am as i pulled in, a yellow school bus went past the
6:08 am
vehicle with 10 kids in it. i would say that this is a serious situation right now. the roads are impassable and people should stay off them. i learnt this morning, unfortunately. >> a serious situation, indeed. >> robert ray in georgia who spun out. we are glad you are safe and we'll watch for your coverage. this is there are 800 flights in the air. more than 1,000 flights have been cancelled and another 2500 are already delayed and these problems had a ripple affect across the country as planes can't get to where they need to be. >> the south will deal with the travel problems until everything
6:09 am
melts. let's bring in the metrologist. big cities like atlanta have a handful of snow, some don't have anything. this goes back the last 12 hours, and doesn't show all of it. but anywhere from texas to the carolinas. we were talking about this in the last couple of days as we forecast it. freezing rain was the biggest problem, and covered with the snow because you can't see the slick spots. the area of low pressure moved off the coastline. we ended up with snow off the east coast. the south, a major impact from the system. a lot of the freezing rain brought down powerlines because it's heavy on the branchs and
6:10 am
powerlines. the roads will not clear off quickly, the power will be slow to get on. look at the temperatures. atlanta and birmingham, you get a little above. the places that melt during the day will refreeze overnight with temperatures drop k, if you melt at all, and a lot of places don't have anything to clear things off. the temperatures will go up tomorrow and the next day. today would be a dangerous mess on the roads. that's one system. we have another system we have been watching. we have problems with that one too. i'm excited about this for portions of the west. this will be beneficial rain in this renal scrog. >> nicole mitchell, thank you. >> our other top story, president obama is vowing to restore economic opportunity for americans. the president pitched his new agenda.
6:11 am
he promised to bolster education. the president urged a divided congress to work together saying he'll use executive orders if necessary. >> what i offered was a set of concrete practical proposal to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build ladders of opportunity into the middle class. i'm eager to work with all of you. america does not stand still, and neither will i. >> al jazeera's mike viqueira joins us from washington d.c. all the talk after the address. >> that was expected the president hiding on those things, specifically he's extending long-term unemployment benefits. raising the minimum wage, threatening to go around congress if they won't go along. it's limited what he can do and
6:12 am
he'll need congress if he's to achieve the major goals, and that includes unemployment, raiding the minimum wage. there was something for everyone to love or hate in the speech. first of all, democrats loved to see the president taking the fight to republicans, it's threatening to go around them. richard bloomen that will is a democratic senator and here is what he said. >> a home run on economic opportunity and a grand slam. this address was aspirational. rif oting, grasping what is in the hopes of americans in the future. objection to education and jobs with the middle class. opportunity for the future. >> now, rank and file republicans, conservatives and those affiliated are irate.
6:13 am
they says it unconstitutional and keep hitting on the scenes. that is criticising the president's affordable care act, and obamacare. cory gardener is one of those conservatives. the president talked about government solutions and support. >> he didn't talk about employment opportunities or ways to get americans back to work by loosening up revelations of government, making sure we have opportunities for people. rely on free market that we can create. >> there's a curious development in the last couple of years, there's the g.o.p. upons. then there's the tea party response. mike lee, a utah senator. you talk about income
6:14 am
inequality, he talks about opportunity in this country. >> we are facing an inequality crisis, one to which the president plays lip service. where does the mu inequality come from, from government. every time it takes rights and opportunities. it gives them to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests. part of the dynamics is this is a congressional matter. there is a real danger, a 50 similar 50 chance that prognosticators put it that it could be a danger for senators. they are expected to keep control of the house. the deeper we go into the selection, the more politics
6:15 am
threaten to encompass everything. >> both partiesalking about income and equality. mike viqueira reporting from washington. you probably know the feeling of struggling to stay awake. what's if you are in the front row of the state of the union. the president was given a warm embrace, but not long into the speech the 80-year-old struggled to keep her head up. it wasn't the first time he fell asleep. justice stephen brier had to nudge her last year. >> a texas law-maker caused a stir, calling president obama a socialist dictator, republican randy weber took to twitter and tweeted "on floor of house waiting on commandant in chief, the socialist dictator feeding us a line or is it lying", he
6:16 am
replaced ron paul in 2012. >> a new york congressman was caught threatening a new york city report, the confrontation happening on capitol hill, this is what happened when the reporter asked an off-topic question? >> let me be clear to you... i'm not talking about anything off topic. >> reporter: what about... >> some contact there. republican michael gram is facing a federal investigation into his fundraising. the reporter defended his question, but gram continued the threats off camera saying he'd break the reporter in half. the reporter asked gram for an apology, and he issued a statement saying he is was the victim of a cheap-shot interview
6:17 am
and doubts he's the first or last member of congress to tell off a reporter. ukraine's president is trying to calm the country. viktor yanukovych repealed unpopular anti-protest lawyers and his prime minister stepped down. now he is considering amnesty for scores of protesters that were arrested. opposition leaders are refusing to back down and are calling for new elections. >> jennifer glasse joins us live from kiev. opposition leaders are celebrating the concessions. they see it as a sign they are getting closer to their goal. as the president's plan backfired in some ways? >> well, i don't think backfired, but he's desperately trying to get the protesters off the street. it's not just in kiev, it's across ukraine that tens of thousands came out because it is
6:18 am
unhappy with the government and its policies, including the policy to turn towards russia and away from europe. concessions are not enough. they repealed unpopular laws that restricted freedom of speech and expression. they did it unanimously. they are talking about an amnesty in parliament. they are far apart from the deal, on the specifics. the opposition says it should only apply to protesters. the pro-government members of parliament say it should include the security service, police and others, riot police who attack protesters. still a big political impasse. a lot to be agreed on. negotiations are on going between the two sides, but the opposition would like to see a change in leadership. if not, resign then call early elections. >> let's remind everyone that it was a russian deal with ukraine
6:19 am
inflaming the protests. what will happen to the russian deal if the opposition leaders end up in positions of leadership? >> vladimir putin says that deal, a $15 billion loan as well as $10 billion in national gas concessions to the ukraine will not change. he'll stand by his word. he says the deal was made with the previous government, the prime minister has resigned. he'll have to wait and see what the next government does. he doesn't say it automatically discredits the deal. $15 billion is a lot of money. not many could write a check to that are amount. that's russia's way to gain control. the deal stands.
6:20 am
it depends on the stance of the next government, and what the policy is towards russia and europe. russia is maintaining a lot of influence here. russia's east and south, watching the east and south. i can hear them in ernest in the background. jennifer glasse reporting from the past. >> researchers dug up dozens of bodies. my brother was running across the pasture. why family members hope the discovery will answer questions of abuse that have been buried for decades and a growing number of companies offer loans. some say it's a blessing. aside from the game, it is media day. it's an inside look in sports.
6:21 am
6:22 am
6:23 am
>> good morning and welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. let's get a look at what temperatures we'll see across the nation. meteorologist nicole mitchell is back. we have good and bad. the same system that brought the snow, the rain and everything all the way from the east coast and through the south, was the one that dropped the temperatures. the midwest got the shot a couple of days ago, we moderate, but through the south and east we'll take a day before we see the recovery, that's important in the south. the temperatures in the teens, and not getting above freezing in a lot of cases means what is on the ground is not going to mement. a lot of places don't have ways to clear this off. with temperatures so chilly this is a chance for watermains to burst. starting to moderate. back to you. nicole mitchell, back to you. super bowl 48. the broncos and sea hawks may
6:24 am
have faced their toughest opponent. jessica taff is here with more. >> we have tuesday's media day. it marks the beginning of the media day. >> around in the big apple that's the subject of the game. it gets lost in the nix frenzy. it's more like a circus meeting the red carpet, from models, celebrities and clowns. a leak issued credentials through this year's media day. legitimate questions. but two guys that talk sports, the biggest attraction. >> the last week has not been too tough where people dissect my life. i don't have bad things in my
6:25 am
past that have - man, i find that out. i live my life, i try to help many kids with the means to help him. the more people look, i am sure the more they'll see that that i've been trying to do what i can. the more people see that, the next was humbling to mohammed ali, he went flow the racial degradation because of the serial types he had to tight. he almost went to gaol because he had to stand up for what he believed in. the situation was brave and serious. he had to deal with a lot more scrutiny and just headache and criticism. but it's a blessing because he's one of my biggest idols and person i looked up to.
6:26 am
>> i've asked about my legacy since i was 26 yea old. i thought you had to be like 70 to have a legacy. where you'll have to wait until super bowl to hear the results. jonathan martin who brought claims against a team-mate gave his first interview since reading the team. this is what he said: >> more from that. certainly in the college ranks it's the football players at north western university attempting something to protect
6:27 am
the college athletes. the wildcats former quarterback a player trying to create the first of its time. many of us joining union leaders in chicago to announce the creation of the college players' association. the goal to give athletes a voice to give safeguards regarding injuries and financial examination. the bigger issue is labelling football players or employees. they are here voluntarily. >> they don't get paid. >> this could be more in a situation. >> i'll look forward to that. >> talks over ending syria's civil war are deadlocked. how the divide has the country's journalists choosing sides. >> another state trying to ban same-sex marriage. where it's happening and how they are trying to do it? >> i borrowed $700, and it took
6:28 am
me six months to pay them back. >> the high interest rates tied to pay day loans, and the alternative some companies are offering. here is a life look at net life stadium east rutherford new jersey, where the super bowl is being held in just a few days.
6:29 am
6:30 am
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy, and these are the top stories. six states declared states of emergency slammed the deep south. snow and ice have been on the roads for hours. state troopers had to rescue hundreds of students stuck at school. >> the country's president in
6:31 am
ukraine wants of the offer of amnesty linked to protesters leaving buildings. >> president obama hit on jobs and education during the state of union. not all americans watching the state of union were focussed on the economy. as patty culhane shows, many wanted to hear about the foreign policy agenda. >> tens of millions of americans spent the evening watching the american president outline his priorities. the family that called the country home had to wait 48 minutes to hear him talk about their former homeland syria. this is all he said. >> america's diplomacy backed by
6:32 am
the threat of force is why syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated. we'll continue to work with the international community to usher in the future deserved. a future clear of dictatorship, terror. >> it's disappointing. it's more of the same syrians feel abandoned. >> the most important foreign policy was iran. >> if john f. kennedy and ronald reagan can negotiate with the soviet union surely we can negotiate with less imposing countries today. >> and he tries to negotiate a deal over the nuclear program, a threat a sponsor brushed off. >> we don't believe there'll be new sanctions while iran is in compliance. our legislation would provide for that. >> despite the applause the president is in for a big fight
6:33 am
with his own political party. >> on the domestic agenda the president called for higher vagus. immigration reform, infrastructure and invest: he called for those things every year, and every year the congress ignored him. >> once the candlelight fades and the politicians head to the chamber, it's unlikely that most, if not all of the president's agenda will make it through congress. >> president obama hits the road for the post state of union trip. he'll try to sell his ideas to millions. his first stops a costco in maryland and a steel plant in pittsburg. >> negotiations aimed at ending syria's bloody civil war begin their sixth day. on tuesday the peace talks were cut short. a mediator died decided to take a break after angry exchanges
6:34 am
between the two sides. the government criticised the u.s. and negotiators are stuck on the issue of a transitional government. we are live in geneva where the negotiators are not the only ones. it sounds like syrian journalists are divided as much as the government and opposition are. >> exactly. that's what we saw with our own eyes. the syrian state television report is really believing and defending the government's position that what is happening in syria is an international conspiracy, it's not a revolution, and those that carry arms are terrorists and they don't just single out the al qaeda-led groups. state-run journalists believe that bashar al-assad is a stabilizing force and the only way forward is to hold elections and for the president to complete his constitutional
6:35 am
term. for the opposition what is happening is a fight for freedom. they believe assad is a destabilising factor. we managed to speak to journalists on both sides of the divide. >> tensions flare at a news conference by the spokesman of this syrian opposition. a journalist wants to know what the coalition thinks about what she says is terrorism in her country. the question is ignored and they ask for security. this is a common scene through the geneva ii talks where a lack of consensus is played out amongst the media. journal lifts that represent both sides communicate, exchange words and debate. >> rannia is a presenter in the state run channel. it's the first time they came
6:36 am
face to face with an opponent. she doesn't believe she is a mouth piece for authorities. >> translation: we live through the n flict and lost colleagues. the station was targeted. several colleagues were martyred. i hope we can reach piece. we will not accept it. >> this is rainia's colleague. they don't see eye to eye. the argument is about personal loss and who are the real victims, he feels he can do his job. >> i need to tell the truth. i'm a journalist. i can't criticise bashar al-assad or the opposition too. and with my people, not for bashar al-assad, like them, a
6:37 am
vournal. >>. i'm sad for them, they are hostages. >> he is wanted by the statement. he was forced to flee syria, three years later he feels the gulf between the opposing sides is too great. >> the political differences make it impossible for us to live on in one country. when seeing them we are able to talk and speak of different issues that divide us. they speak but don't agree. it's a grim reality. for now they sit in the same room. there's little room for reconciliation. each believes they are the true voice. >> so you can see how divided even the journalists are. politicians having a hard time to strike any sort of deal.
6:38 am
something that the u.n. lakhdar brahimi said time and time again this will not be easy. the very fact that they are here, nobody walked out and they were planning to stay until talks were scheduled is progress in itself. the international community is determined to push the process forward because there is another alternative. journalists conditioning to ask questions. >> it has now been a month since our col eke peter greste and two producers, mohamed fadel fahmy, and mohammed badr were detained in egypt. they are accused of spreading lies. joining a terrorist group. supporters and family members, calling on egyptian authorities to release the men. for a nation like egypt to treat people doing their job as journalists which is an ethical
6:39 am
decent job with all decent societies need for egypt of all companies to be here every day is a shame on that nation. al jazeera sits peter greste and his colleagues are incident and calls for their release. in a recent letter grest your described torra prison as overflowing with anyone who opposes or challenges the government. >> the investigation into a cheating scandal in the ranks. air force is growing. 30 airmen have been suspended for sharing questions on proficiency tests. 50 officers have been taken off missle launch duty. >> all work in montana. the supreme court granted a stay of execution. herbert smallest was supposed to be put to death by lethal ipp jction. the high court is expected to
6:40 am
rule on two petitions filed on behalf of smalls. the legal team disclosing where the lethal drugs came from. missouri said the company that displayed it, part of the execution team, and cannot beidentified publicly. they are storing the drug at room temperature. they could taint the supply and diminish its reflectiveness. >> florida reform school was plagued by allegations of abuse. researchers found the remains of 55 people buried on the campus. we go to tampa. >> for 23 years this family wondered where their son and brother was buried. he ran off to perform, but
6:41 am
handled at a school for boys at the panhandle town of marianna. a year later they were send a letter saying george's body was found under a house. later they were told that the brother may have been shot. >> we were told three deputies were shooting at him. >> they are one of 11 families looking for answers about loved ones. for the last two years a team of anthropologists has been excavating the campus. they found 55 graves. 24 of those bodies have never been documented in school records. >> this project has been about performing a fundamental human
6:42 am
right. >> no criminal investigation is planned. but screghtors with a local sheriff's department are asking for the public's help, releasing the name of 42 boys. they a hoping their surviving relatives will come forward so they can identify the remains. they are using artefacts found in the graves, such as shirt buttons and a belt buckle to narrow the date of the boy's debts. there are many questions they can't answer. these questions are as important as adding to the florida record as they are to bringing peace to families. >> it would be the answer to hopes and prayers. >> they are awaiting d.n.a. results to see if they match the remains to follow. ultimately they hope to bury
6:43 am
their brother next to their mother and father. >> the team will return to the school to look for additional bodies. >> the school opened in 1900 and was closed in 2011 after the first graves were uncovered. former students from the 1950s and '60s came forward with tales of beatings and child abuse. 81 boys died there. but where they are is a matter still trying to be volved. >> the state house in indiana approved a constitutional amendment. the bill allows for civil unions, but if approved it goes before state voters. 23 state ban same-sex marriage. people desperate for money turn it pay day loans, short term,
6:44 am
high interest loans. the problem is people that need them the most have trouble paying them off. as stacy tisdale reports, a growing number of companies are offering analternative. >> last november melissa jones, an until mother of three boys moved her family from kentucky to tennessee to accept a job. >> the move hit me financially at the wrong time of the year. so there wasn't a lot of time to save in procedures for christmas. >> after starting her new position melissa learnt her new employer offered a benefit for workplace loansism. >> i borrowed $700, and it took me six months to pay me back and they took me out of the payroll. hundreds offered employees workplace loans. the contract with a half dozen lenders currently offered to
6:45 am
100,000 workers. industry watchers say that could grow to 10 million. >> it's more important for them to come to work and not worry about getting their car fixed. >> proponents say they are options for low and middle income americans. >> the income range is of $50,000 or above. >> here is how it works. you fill out an application online and share how lock you work, the salary and information about the credit history. the lender verifies the employment and checks the history. >> loan sizes range for 150. most, like melissas are in the $700 range. payment terms are between 6
6:46 am
months to three years. payments are deducted from the pay check. >> all of the loans are credit building meaning we report the positive repayment history, helping people repair and build critics. >> buyer be ware. when you add up the fees, work place loans carry a personnel rate of 36 and 120%. half the cost of the loans. proers can still get into financial trouble. >> any time you carry 100% interest rate, it quickly becomes a burden that people can't carry, that it gets you into a debt trap. most important to people like melissa, the loan provided short-term financial relief, allowing her to keep dignity intact. they didn't make me feel like a
6:47 am
poor person, and that meant a lot to me. >> al jazeera's stacy tisdale reporting. it's estimated a third of american workers are going through financial distress. >> wall street worries about corporate earnings appear to have faded. futures are mix the the market snapped its worst losing streak and here is where we stand. the dow at 15,927: stocks surge, in asia: >> the federal reserve wraps up its last meeting under chairman ben bernanke. and is expected to reduce stimulus for the economy. the fed announced it would pare
6:48 am
bond purchases. ben bernanke is stepping down and will be succeeded by janet yellen. she is expected to stick with ben bernanke's policies. >> there's still work left undone. there's a lot of work for janelle yellen to do. history will judge whether ben bernanke was a saviour. >> facebook is on the earnings calendar. it's expected to post a 40% jump in profits. analysts say the company continues to make strides in attracting advertisers, especially on mobile devices. yahoo shares could be under pressure the stock losing 4%. the company reported a slowdown in quarterly revenue and gave a cautious outlook. yahoo struggled because of competition from google, facebook and twitter. toyota set a record for the outj
6:49 am
industry, producing 10 million vehicles. the first auto maker to exceed the milestone. toyota rebounded from the recalls and the tsunami. ali velshi will have a special report on the middle class an role. "america's middle class - rebuilding the dream." >> he is big, buff, but is he healthy. one of the world's strongest men talks about the science of strength. and the artists who have been inducted into the musicians hall of fame. >> we are seeing desperately needed moisture cross the west coast - the forecast coming up. >> looking at virginia beach. snow on the ground. a windchill of seven and a light snow is falling all morning.
6:50 am
6:51 am
6:52 am
>> welcome back to al jazeera america. just ahead how the strongest me on earth could be putting their health at risk in pursuit of their athletic goals. first where the snow will fall across the country. nicole mitchell is back. >> a lot of people not liking the meteorologist with all the mess on the roads. the storm systems clearing out. we'll still have a mess. more in a few minutes. to the west coast - this is beneficial. it will cause issues because you see we go from rain to freezing to snow in the higher elevations. on the roads nonetheless, the whole area has been in drought, becoming more stream. some of this is making it into northern california, and this is
6:53 am
a place where the reservoirs started to go dry. any rain will be beneficial across the region, more coming south ward into the day. rain through the north-east, that is moving out as well. >> they are called the world's drankest men. they push their bodies to the limit. lifting extraordinary amounts of weight. as matt rumsey reports the death of a competitor raised questions about how healthy the men are. >> that's 360 kilograms, more than twice the body weight of two large men. this man can lift it before breakfast. the lithuanian known as big z won three out of five strong men competitions. the two he didn't win, he came second. after the tragic death of mike jenkins of america, in his sleep, at the age of 31, the question is being asked - how
6:54 am
internally strong are men that push their bodies to the absolute limit. are they risking their lives in. >> professional sport is not the healthiest thing in the world. to be the strong man in the world you need to eat healthy food, sleep very well and not drink or smoke. >> mike jenkins described big z as the michaeloredan of strong men. his competition record is unrivalled. the secret to long-term success is balancing what he admits is an unprofessional healthy life with a healthy private one. >> there were a lot that came to competition, and then they are stopped competing when they are
6:55 am
injured, as they have health problems. but i compete for 22 years already, and this season will be 23rd for me. >> big z does not drink coffee, he told us over herbal tea. that others have come to train with him in the past, looking for the secret to his success. they couldn't find it. it's simple. organic food in the freezer. >> strawberries. the rigor of training and the pressure to feed a body, to reach competition strength can damage the strongst of men from the inside. he is 38 years of age and lifting heavy weights. he says he'll quit the sport when that's no longer the case. >> it's unclear if the lifestyle of a long man contributed to the untimely death of mike jenkins at the age of 31.
6:56 am
the strongest of them all admits staying at the top of this sport has a risk. if you want to date a strong man, you have to have a healthy balance. >> mike jenkins set a world record for the most weight lifted by a man's hits. >> the mousse irons hall of fame welcomes 12 new members among the musicians honoured. will lee, and county star barbara mandel was honoured. as far as rock'n'roll. randy bockman from the guess ii and '70s rocker steve brampton, the late stevie vaughan and his band double trouble were inducted. they have been making music for 30 years, but the members of motley crew say it's time to
6:57 am
call it quits. since neil, mick morris, tommy sticks have sold more than 80 million albums, and say it's time to split up. they got together at a hotel to sign a break-up transcript. >> now the stories in the next hour. >> i wanted my mum to call me nicky stix. the storm from texas to georgia, stranding drivers and students are stuck at school. >> president obama wants the nation to unify. the president said he's willing to go along, ready to ice executive powers in congress is unwilling to act. >> ukraine's president is considering amnesty for thousands of arrested protesters. in exchange they want the demonstrators to leave government buildings, which they are refusing to do. >> as a storm that brought the snow and ice moves out
6:58 am
conditions are treacherous. >> al jazeera conditions, dell and i are back with you in 2.5 minutes.
6:59 am
>> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america al jazeera america. we open up your world. >> here on america tonight, an opportunity for all of america to be heard. >> our shows explore the issues that shape our lives. >> new questions are raised about the american intervention. >> from unexpected viewpoints to
7:00 am
live changing innovations, dollars and cents to powerful storytelling. >> we are at a tipping point in america's history! >> al jazeera america. there's more to it. >> america does not stand still and neither will i, so wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families, that's what i'm going to do. >> the year are action, president obama promises to go it alone to move americans forward even if congress is missing in action. >> deep freeze slamming the deep south, treasure rouse travel conditions causing hundreds of accidents, leaving people stranded on highways and stuck
7:01 am
at school. >> standing strong, ukrainian protestors have gained the upper hand but won't be satisfied until the president steps down. >> good morning, welcome to aljazeera america p.m. i'm stephanie sy. >> i'm del walters. the president wants 2014 to be his year of action. he's pledging to work on behalf of all americans with or without congress. >> the president pitched his new agenda during his fifth tate of the union address, promising to bolster education, and combat economic inequality. he urged congress to work together but did say he'll use executive orders if necessary. >> we're going to begin with a desperate situation happening across the south united states, a winter storm with freezing rain and snow wreaking havoc.
7:02 am
>> states of emergency are in effect in at least six states. the conditions have paraliesed a big portion of the south. >> this is crazy out here. >> the south under siege, as potentially record breaking winter weather slams several states. in alabama, trucks are spinning out on the streets and cars are flipping over on snow-covered highways. unaccustomed to these dangerous road conditions and some cities without saltar sand trucks, many drivers gave up. >> people abandoned their cars, so we couldn't get by. >> the weekend weather is causing chaos in the caroline nays, snow and freezing rain made for such slick conditions on the roads, authorities shut down bridges in south carolina. over the border in north carolina, the governor declared a state of emergency with temperatures falling below freezing. airports are feeling the freeze with thousands of flights can
7:03 am
cred. deeper south in louisiana and the city of new orleans is also in a state of emergency, two major thorough fairs shut down for safety. >> we highly recommend that people stay off the roadways. it's going to get colder and the ice will remain with us. >> it's the ice making for treacherous travel in texas where emergency workers responded to more than 300 crashes. entennessee students got stranded at schools because buses could not run on impassable roads. >> it was kind of stressful not knowing what would happen. >> southerners have to stick it out a few more days after temperatures climb back to normal in the 50's after the weekend. >> one of the victims of the wicked weather, our own robert ray, who ended up sliding off the road trying to get to work this morning. he joins us on the road from george. >>, 20 miles outside atlanta. robert, first of all, i'm glad you're ok. can you tell us what happened is this. >> thanks, stephanie, good
7:04 am
morning, indeed. if you can imagine this, driving on roads that are like an ice rink, that's the entire atlanta metro area, and hills, if europe not familiar with the georgia and atlanta area, very hillary area and if you head down some of these hills on the ice rink, you're likely to lose control and indeed that's what happened to me. there was another vehicle coming up the road, that vehicle swerved out of the way. i moved out of the way and did a 180 into basically off of the ice into the side of the road. now, last night, i left downtown atlanta about 4:00 p.m. and got about 20 miles to the north. that took nearly nine hours, but that's actually a pretty good time considering that most of the people in atlanta did an average of nine to 12 hours. in fact, some of them are still on the road as hundreds of vehicles dot the interstates and
7:05 am
the roads off of the highways. many people are stranded leaving their cars, not sure what to do, because you simply cannot drive on ice that thick, as the city is paralyzed. school buses dot roads. right near where my vehicle was, are two school buses with the doors open, unable to move. many students in the area isn't the night in shelters that the schools have created because a lot of the parents stuck in the gridlock on the interstates last night and into this morning simply couldn't get to the schools to pick up their kids. red cross has shelters around the city and the governor and the mayor will come out again this morning to talk about exactly what happened. the mayor did concede yesterday and last night that he holds responsibility for the fact that the schools were not canceled yesterday and the government was not shut down, everyone sort of left atlanta at the same time, creating the situation that we're in right now, stephanie.
7:06 am
>> certainly seemed to catch a lot of notion off guard. robert ray in georgia, thanks. i'm glad you're all right. serious storm down there. people don't really know how to drive in that stuff anywhere, really. it's bad. let's bring in meteorologist nicole mitchell for more. >> in their defense, because i've lived in the south, not only is it just lack of experienced driving, but a lot of cities cut costs by not having snow removal equipment because they don't need it that often. as we get out this morning with cold temperatures behind it, nothing to remove the snow and ice, we just have to wait until it melts off. we're talking about this being a hilly region, a lot of this area is also trees, so even sunlight would help start to reduce things a little bit if it's below freezing, but you don't get that in a lot of case us. the storm system is moving off the coast, so impacts are moving off the costes, but we're at the point now where trees are coated with ice. a lot of places got over that
7:07 am
quarter inch and sometimes even over half inch and that's the delynnation between nuisance and power lines coming down. we have tens of thousands of people without power this morning. temperatures right around freezing means we won't melt in a couple places, new orleans at 38 will melt a little, but overnight will go right back down, so anything that melts will refree. it's no the really until with he get more into tomorrow and the day after that we see improvement as conditions tart to abate, but all this is moving off the coastline. we already have another system on the west coast. this one's a little bit more pleasant to talk about, still road condition problems, but this area's so dry, this is very beneficial moisture. back to you guys. >> president obama is vowing to restore economic opportunity for americans. he made that pledge during tuesday night's state of the union address urging a dividing congress to come together and address important issues like immigration and the economy.
7:08 am
he also warned he will use executive orders if necessary to get things done. mike viqueira is in washington, d.c., the president promising to deliver results in 2014 but how ambitious can the white house be at this stage of the presidency? >> the approximate president walked into that house chamber between the joint session of congress, the assembled jointly chiefs of staff, the diplomatic core a lame duck and this is an election year and it won't be long until we head into mid term congressional elections before politics consumes everything. the president said i'm willing to work with congress but if they won't work with me, i'm going to do as much as i can by executive order. democrats eat that kind of talk up, they think the president should fight. republicans say the president's going around the constitution, acting like a dictator. no matter how you slice it, those executive orders have limited scope, power and impact on the economy, so the president went into the chamber, he talked
7:09 am
about the laundry list, he kept it relatively short, trying to focus opt big issues that he wants congress to actually work on and vote on. the top of that list is immigration reform. >> the president of the united states. >> president obama first looked to the positive signs in the economy. >> the lowest unemployment rate in over five years, a rebounding housing market. our deficits cut by more than half. >> the president pledged to work with republicans to keep the momentum going. >> heads see where else we can make progress together. let's make this a year of action. >> mr. obama warned that he's ready and willing to go around congress if they won't go along with his ideas. >> america does not stand still and neither will i, so wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families, that's what i'm going to do. >> the president promised to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for material contract workers next year to
7:10 am
$10.10 an hour, and directing the treasury to help individuals create retirement savings accounts where not available through their employer. the white house has said 2014 will be a year of action, which makes main why the president focused on domestic issues, that affect every day marriages, job creation, and equal pay for women. >> 2014, it's an embarrassment. women deserve equal pay for equal work. it is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a madman episode. >> the president said a nuclear agreement with iran may not work but threatened to veto new sanctions while talks with tehran continue. >> for the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. if iran's leaders do not seize this opportunity, then i will be the first to call for more
7:11 am
sanctions. >> meanwhile, republicans pointing at continued divisions in the country offered two different responses, the official response defender by the highest ranking republican woman. >> the president's policies are making people's lives harder. republicans have plans to close the gap, plans that will focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts and red step. >> another on behalf of the tea party. >> he asked for more of the same as if the solution to inequality were more inequality. >> the president will be in maryland addressing a costco crowd talking about minimum wage and raising the wage at some point in the future for all new contracts, contract workers within the federal government. later today, he goes to
7:12 am
pittsburgh to talk about his initiative to eble workers who don't have employer based savings plans to have just that, part of the initiative in the state of the union speech. >> didn't i see you late last night, mike? >> you may have and thank you for watching aqam. yes, indeed, this is part of the ritual, reporters who stay up all night. >> the united nations has authorized european union troops to use force in the central african republic. the international body have voted to impose travel bans and freeze the assets of anyone suspected of war crimes. 2,000 people have been killed and a quart are of the population displaced since the fighting began last march. >> south korea state news agency said as i am i don't think unordered the execution of more family members. the north korean leader had his
7:13 am
uncle killed last month after being accused of plotting to overthrow the regime with that among these executed, his uncle's entire family, including relatives searching as his ambassador to cuba, a nephew and his two young sons. it's someone clear how they were killed. >> it has been one month since our colleagues were detained in egypt. they are accused of spreading lies harmful to state security and joining a terrorist group. colleagues, supporters and family members joining together at a noose conference in london this morning. they called on egyptian authorities to release the men. >> for a great nation like egypt to treat people doing their jobs at journalists, which is an ethical, decent job, which all decent societies need, for egypt of all countries to treat journalists in this way is a shame on that nation.
7:14 am
>> aljazeera continues to maintain they are innocent and demand they're immediate release. the prison is overflowing with anyone who challenges the government. >> the first post independence president is calling on both sides to come to a compromise at parliament debates this morning whether or not they will provide amnesty to those arrested when tough anti protest laws were put in place recently in kiev. the government repealed the anti protest laws earlier this week. what is holding them back now from freeing those they have arrested under those laws? >> the question is really, there are two problems with the amnesty laws.
7:15 am
the first is who gets amnesty, the protestors? the government members of parliament would like to see the police and security forces get amnesty as well. that's the first big sticking point. the government said one of the conditions of amnesty is all these people in the square behind me has to leave any government buildings for that amnesty to go into effect. anybody in jail will stay in jail, all healed of the repeal of the laws, yesterday, we saw courts starting to make moves, hard seeing the whiting on the wall. yesterday, they released 35 people who had been arrested during the protests. that some of the courts have released people who have been protestors. the public opinion here, the big opposition to those anti protest laws, but still a long way to go on this amnesty agreement. >> opposition leaders are celebrating the concessions, including the repeal of the law and prime minister's
7:16 am
resignation, seeing it as closer to their goal, yet doesn't seem like they're packing up and stopping their protest. >> no, stephanie, these protestors here to stay. this protest behind me very, very organized, there's hot food. they've taken over another government building over the weekend, so there are warm places to sheep. the only thing they'll recognize is the resignation of the president or at least early elections, but there's much mistrust of the government among the protestors and they want to see concrete changes before they consider leaving the streets. >> jennifer glass reporting with the latest in ukraine, thank you. >> here are today's headlines making news around the world, the top story the atlanta journal constitution that gripping storm battering the south, georgia now under a state of emergency. >> the miami herald, you might remember this airline, del, eastern airlines wants to fill the friendly skies again. the aircraft went out of
7:17 am
business in 1991. now a newly form airline group that plans to relaunch the airline later this year. it's been missed. >> t.w.a. could be next. the south china post reporting on billionaire and his lesbian daughter. she told her father no in away letter to the paper today. she called on her dad to accept her partner. her father offered any man $64 million to marry his daughter. >> no! >> he doubled that amount to $128 million. >> she says in this letter, dear dad, thanks but no thanks. she gets i get you, i know where you're coming from, daddy. >> president obama making a call for action. >> $168 million. we'll tell you what he hopes to accomplish in the goals that are straight ahead for the administration. >> we'll break down whether is state of the union address will actually make a difference in moving the needle and getting
7:18 am
the legislation through congress. >> $122 billion. he didn't offer that. it's our big number of the day and it's the big investment three companies made to boost profits in 2013. why all that spending didn't exactly pay off.
7:19 am
>> let me be clear. if this congress sends me a new
7:20 am
>> now today's big number, $122 billion. that's how much the three largest oil companies paid out last year, boosting oil and gas production. one of the reasons, cost for future development is soring, companies expanding to unstable areas. chef ron spending $36.7 billion, exxon mobil $41 billion and shell a cool $44.3 billion, and some change, i'm sure. >> hard to fathom that kind of money, but probably a drop in the bucket for oil companies. that. >> hitting the road after his state of the union address, the president giving congress a
7:21 am
laundry list of tasks to accomplish ahead of the mid term elections. in a moment, we'll take care of his goals and how they could shape the mid term elections. >> let's go to nicole. >> got rays of sunshine as we get to temperatures, cool through the east coast and south. the font has come through, the cold air settled in. the midwest is now starting to rebound, so that's one of the bright spots out here. look at this, billings a 26, way warmer than atlanta, at 14. in the south is where we have the concerns, because with the temperatures in the teens and getting to freezing or briefly above, that will keep everything frozen. with these temperatures, you can still see pipes burst, things of that nature with freezing, so watch out for that. temperatures today mild in the west, but will go down over the next couple of days. >> president obama urging a dividing congress to work together. he says if they fail to do so,
7:22 am
he will use the power of his office to get things done, going it alone. the chief prettyical strategist for the potomac research group joins us and bill snyder from international affairs at georgetown university. good morning. bill, your reaction to the speech. >> well, the tone of it was far more assertive than the substance. his approach is to go it alone. basically what the president did was acknowledge defeat in changing washington. when he ran for election, he said he he wanted to have a post partisan environment in washington, he wanted to reach out to republicans and work together but in the last year, his approach to congress hasn't paid off. this is been very little legislation. they killed gun control, the congress really stood up to him, so he's saying ok, this if he they won't work with me, i'll go it alone. it's assertive, but the policies
7:23 am
not very ambitious. >> the president says if need be, he will go it hoon. greg, what do you think no. >> i think it's a flawed strategy. i'm not an obama basher, but there's a change in the area. we got the paul ryan budget deal, a if my bill this week. boehner made it cheer he doesn't want a confrontation, put down the revolt among the tea party house members. he indicated maybe immigration reform can move. what does the president do no he says i'm going to end run you guys, by pass you guys. he failed to recognize that the passions in the congress have subsided quite a bit. >> bill, was it a sledgehammer in this case to swat a fly? >> in a way that's true, because it's a whole new approach saying he would go it alone but on the other hand, what did the president propose to do? he urged employers to give higher pay to their workers. he said they would have a
7:24 am
minimum wage hike for federal contractors, not federal contractors at the moment. he talked about better classroom technology, more job training programs. these are all very small scale initiatives. what congress is doing as was just described are things that are being driven by fear. immigration reform, republicans are fearful of what happened to them in 2012 happening again, if they don't appeal to newer immigrants. the budget was passed by this congress, but that's because they didn't want another shutdown. that's what's really driving congress to act. >> greg, let me ask you this. why shouldn't the president be upset? after all, it was not his best year, even a worse year for congress, the president's approval rating at 46%, up from where it was, but still not where he wants it to be, so why not go at congress and say if you're not going to do it this time, i'll go it alone no. >> well, i would have to say that many of his wounds have been self-inflicted, but that aside, i do think that he wanted to rally the base, and i think
7:25 am
he had a lot of lines in the speech that would make the base happy. obviously, there's an election coming up in the fall and i think he's trying to set up a climate that would be better for that. just one other point i would that mystifies me, we'll get figures in the next two or three weeks that would be os stan issuing for the budget. why he doesn't take credit for it is a mystery to me. >> i was curious why the white house doesn't take credit for the bailout money paid back, and this being a speech for the base, do you think it will move the needle for the penalty? >> it could rally the democrats particularly on the health care issue where they're mostly on the defensive. that's going to be the big issue. the president needs to show it's helping people. he had someone there in the audience last night, so that's important. what the president had to acknowledge is his ambition to
7:26 am
change washington has failed. he can't change washington. we've had four presidents in a row who said that they would change washington. the first president bush was kinder and gentler, bill clinton was a new democratic, the second president bush said he would be a uniter, not a divider and now president obama, they all promised to change washington, they all failed, so this president is trying a slightly different tack. >> there was a moment in the speech that boxed me, talking about moving the needle forward for women. women are obviously a vote that the republican party wants to get and yet when he talked about equal wages for women for leveling the playing field for women in the workforce, most of the republicans stayed seated. was that a bad optic on the part of the republican party? >> once again, i think the republican party doesn't get it with women, whether it's mike huckabee or a lot of examples. bill's absolutely right, we've gone to small ball, but when it comes to motivating women and his pannation, those are the two
7:27 am
key constituencies as we look at 2016, really at 2014, as well and i think using the mad men analogy really resonated with a lot of women. >> bill snyder, greg vayer, thank you for joining us, we thank you for your input. >> turning to business news now on wall street, worries about corporate earnings appeared to have faded for a day, futures mix would at this hour. yesterday, the market snapped its worse losing streak since 2012. in asia stocks surging higher. european stocks also on the plus side. an aggressive interest rate hike in turkey sparking the rally there. >> the federal reserve wrapping up it's last meeting under
7:28 am
federal chair ben bernanke today. in december, the fed announced it would reduce month bond purchases by $10 billion a month. it said that depended on the strength of the economy. >> so the fed has a message right now saying we're still providing support, but we're going to start pulling back because we don't want to be behind the curve and keep providing support while the american economy is getting better and risk financial instability or inflation in the future. >> the fed is set to make that announcement at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. >> facebook is on the earnings calendar, expected to post a 40% jump in profit. analysts say the company continues to make strides and attracting advertisers especially on mobile devices. >> part of the president's plan involves the national community from the war in afghanistan to international issues. >> we're getting reaction follow around the world about the
7:29 am
president's man. >> spurring job creation, but big business is helping one part of the country accomplish that goal. >> one of the goals of every nfl player is to win a superbowl ring, but what price are they willing to pay to get it? we'll have more on concussions later on. ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america again by having the president making this pointing continuously, it causes the people to say you know what, we should examine this issue. most of the jobs we are talking about you can't send those overseas. >> right, they have to be service jobs. in a sense though mr. anderson have you seen people galvanized, people wanting to work now to actually see if they can make the difference on this?
7:30 am
maybe it wouldn't have happened before the government shutdown. >> before the government shutdown in the smithsonian, it took the government to see how serious this is, when you don't have a job and your next paycheck isn't guaranteed. now we have the majority and we are in negotiation with the union to actually bring the union in there to get a pay raise and more benefits. >> thank you gentlemen for being with us. so many money stories sound complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down the confusing financial speak and make it real. >> al jazeera america is a straight-forward news channel. >> its the most exciting thing to happen to american journalism in decades. >> we believe in digging deep. >> its unbiased, fact-based,
7:31 am
in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you. >> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit... >> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america, take a new look at news. >> good morning, welcome to aljazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. >> i'm del walters. laid out an agenda in his state of the union address. we'll talk about international reaction to that speech. >> the president put a heavy emphasis on the economy. the u.s. has made strides in bouncing back. we're going to show you one part of the country that has ban shining example of that recovery. >> we want to go back to the
7:32 am
snowstorm that wreaked havoc on the south especially atlanta and surrounding areas. a spokesperson for the georgia department of transport is joining us by phone. what is the situation on the roads righty now? it was a mess yesterday. >> yeah, and it's -- they're still challenging areas that we're facing, but thankfully, we're seeing some good news. we're just looking at a camera right now, an area we've been battling for four hours on the main thoroughfare through atlanta, a ramp to another main incident are state, we just saw it opened up, so we are able to get some tractor trailers jack-knifed. a ray of hope we will be able to get people down from there and move them through. >> do you have an estimate for us on how many plows you have out there working on the streets or are you just waiting for it
7:33 am
to melt? >> we have about 48 crews from our district. we have about 48, our you were emergency response operators who are usually helping motorists and helping to cheer roads, they're also out there. then we've also called in our active contracts. we have the ability to contract with private companies for them to help us, also, so we've called in those for all those that are available for us to metro area. we have those three different sources that are actually working the area, and helping us. we're coordinating with the georgia state patrol, because we are having to do some very to some extent that dangerous maneuvers for our crews, backing down into ramp areas and so we're coordinating with the tate patrol to help us to keep, you know, cope us safe, keep people from going these directions that
7:34 am
were going the opposite direction. we're pulling out every measure we can. >> thank you for being with us and taking time to be with us this morning, because it is still a terrible situation down there. >> tense of millions watched president obama deliver his fifth state of the union address. the president talked of immigration and jobs but many watching were also focused on issues thousands of miles away. many wanted to hear the president's foreign policy agenda. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> tens of millions of americans spent their evening watching the u.s. president outline his priorities. this family, who for three decades called this family home had to wait 48 minutes to hear him address their former homeland, syria, and this was all he had to say. >> american diplomacy backed by the threat of force is why
7:35 am
syria's chemical weapons are being eliminated. we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the syrian people deserve, a future free of dictatorship. >> it is very disappointing. it just feels like it's more of the same, and syrians feel as though they've been abandoned. >> the most important foreign policy issue for the u.s. president was clearly iran. >> if john f. kennedy and ronald reagan could negotiate with the soviet union then surely a strong america can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today. >> he warned the congress not to impose additional sanction honest iran wail he tries to negotiate a long term deal over its nuclear program, but it was a threat one of the sponsors of the bill seemed to brush off. >> we don't believe there will be new sanctions while iran is in complyages and our legislation would provide for that. >> meaning despite the applause,
7:36 am
the president is like i in for a big fight with even his own political party on that iran. the president called for higher wages for the working poor. immigration reform, infrastructure investments and action on climate change. he's called for those things every year and every year, the congress has ignored him. >> once the camera lights fade and politicians head back to the chime about her, it seems unhikely that most if not all of the penalty's agenda will actually make it through congress. aljazeera, washington. >> for international reaction to president obama's speech, we have joining us now niko pines joining us from london. a research fellow at the japan institute of international affairs joins us from tokyo and a senior correspondent from reuters joins us from brazil. >> let's jump right in, the asia
7:37 am
pacific was specifically mentioned a couple of times in president obama's speech. china in particular mentioned as a country, the u.s. needs to compete with, i wonder how japanese are reacting to that. >> oh, yes, president obama mentioned asia pacific twice. actually, their policies -- even before the u.s. gets starches made in u.s.a., even say that go china are no longer the number one place to invest. i was surprised a little bit with strong comment on it, but the economics, i think japanese
7:38 am
economy is now back from their long term differentiation and japan can contribute to this aspect. >> sum is trying to promote their natural gas that i think they match each other very well. >> let me move on to mr. israel here. mr. obama did not mention much about latin america, other than to talk about cultural exchanges. what was your reaction? >> that's correct. it's yet again another example of how little america weighs in the u.s. foreign foles agenda. one thing particularly
7:39 am
brazilians want to hear about is the u.s. surveillance programs abroad that has caused a lot of strain in the relations with latin america, particularly brazil after brazil's president learned he was being surveilled by the n.s.a. we didn't hear much with it, just one sentence in an hour long speech, meaning the emstate of things, it's disappointing. >> brazilians not necessarily comforted by that one line about the u.s. wanting to reform its surveillance. republicans have accused president obama of acting like an emperor, using executive power, side stepping congress. how do before its look at this debate given the way the prime minister interacts with parliament in the u.k.? >> i think that's certainly not one of our main concerns. we still see obama as very
7:40 am
characterful, very important and a strong moral heard. when he comes out and says he's going to take action on inquality or difference in wages, that's welcomed and applauded over here. when he gist into the nitty gritty of for the purpose policy, things that affect us more chosely, we're less convinced. >> i want to take a second to listen to something he said about immigration, which was also not a huge part of his speech. he spent about 53 seconds on that. i'd hike to you listen to this and then comment. >> independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by $1 trillion in the next two decades. when people come here to fulfill their dropples, to study, in vent, contribute to our culture, they make our country a mar attractive place for businesses to hocket and create jobs for everybody. >> were you surprised how little time the president spent on the immigration issue?
7:41 am
i was. we all know what obama thinks and wants to do rewarding immigration reform, but, you know, so far, and yet again, this is an example, very little has been achieved. there's been a lot of talk and not enough action, so i think that's one of the top things latin americans are looking into and were like expecting to hear more about it, and doubts row make that about his ability to carry through and finally deliver something he's been promising sings the beginning of his first term. >> during the foreign policy portion of the speech, president obama seemed to really emphasize diplomacy. i want to hear another byte from that. >> even as we actively and aggressively pursue terrorist networks through more targeted efforts and by building the capacity of our foreign
7:42 am
partners, america must move off a permanent war fighting. >> president obama's popularity has sunk here in the u.s., 46% his approval rating. how is he viewed overseas? >> in europe, he's still extremely popular, seen as a very strong leader. the problem is, you know, we love it when he talks about inequality and says he's going to change the way american politics works but in reality what we're seeing doesn't seem to quite follow through. when he mentions again that he wants to close down guantanamo bay, it's a question of rolling your eyes and saying when are you actually going to do this. the iran situation is interesting. there's no appetite in europe for military intervention or really stronger, tougher sanctions on iran, so to hear him saying that diplomacy is the most important way there is certainly welcomed. how often it raises the question
7:43 am
of what he didn't mention. where's syria in all of this? where's his strong moral leadership when it comes to at the moment the biggest humanitarian crisis facing the world. >> how do japanese view president obama? is he popular there? >> oh, yes, i think the japanese people like his policies, but the reason we are worried about, is the balance. some had japanese experts think president obama want to hear japanese orient occasion, but he is rewarded as very important. >> finally, how is president
7:44 am
obama, you sort of alluded to this before, how is he viewed in south america and brazil? >> he's a popular personality and i think his popularity remains high. he he has not defender. he has not meet the expectations latin america had, not in terms of integration, not in terms of commerce, and just to give you a little example of something that it is interesting is that most latin america leaders watched his speech yesterday night from havana, cuba, a country the united states has not formal relations with. they're meeting there at the same time obama is giving his speech to discuss integration at a summit the united states has not been invited to. >> editor of london daily beast, research fellow at the japanese
7:45 am
institute of international affairs and a senior correspondent for reuters in brass still, thank you all for joining us today. >> the thing they're still talking about here is the president laying down the gauntlet to congress saying he will act with or without them to make sure his legislation is passed. that could be understandable. we want to show you a chart smoke the number of laws passed by congress. last year, that was a 20 year low with just 50 measures making it through. mr. spice are, good morning. >> good morning, del, thank you. >> the penalty says he is moving forward with or without congress. your reaction to that strategy? >> in some ways, he's very surprising. the one chamber the republicans control, the house of representatives has passed over 150 bills that they've sent to
7:46 am
the senate that have literally sat this without action. >> with all due respect, 40 of those bills involved repeeling obamacare. >> all 50 of those dealt with job creation. frankly, even with respect to the obamacare issue, the penalty last night said i would like to talk to you about the problems that you have with obamacare and your solutions. every time he gives one of these speeches he talks about reaching cross the i'll. the second the speech ends, there is no opportunity that have that conversation, and so the president gets up in front of the american people and talks about wanting to work with congress, wanting to listen to ideas, but in reality, that's just not trough, so i think what you're seeing i guess the house passing bills, accepting them over to the nat that create jobs, get regulation out of the way and allow businesses to drive and hire people and they go nowhere, because the senate democrats don't want to do anything and obama is not
7:47 am
serious. >> when spieler are we seeing a jekyll and hyde presidency? you heard the three international correspondents talk about the president popular overseas but not in the u.s. what is it that happens? why can't the house and the president get along no. >> you also, the gentleman from brazil said the biggest problem is there's all talk and no action. we see a lot of great speeches, interesting ideas but literally no follow up. if you read a lot of the analysis, the words like small ball come up over and over again. his own aides were talking about trying to get small things done. they've given up on big ideas. it's not just they've given up on the big idea, they realize when they go out and have given these speeches five or six tiles and look back at the end of the year that it's great to say a lot of these things but when you
7:48 am
don't accomplish anything and don't reach across the aisle and all you've actually done is give another speech or issue a talking point, that that's not action. part of the reason that you're seeing him go to a strategy of executive orders is i don't think there's a genuine desire to work with congress on getting a lot of these things done. >> one of the things that the democrats complain about is which republican party are they talking to, and one of the reasons they say that happened last night. there were three separate responses on the republican side of the aisle with rewards to the president's state of the union address. which response was from the republican party? which one did you endorse? >> first of all, i watched them all. second of all, this is an official response. >> what did you think about the tea party response? >> and senator rand paul gave
7:49 am
his own response. my in box came 70 different people putting out their things, actuality statements, audio recordings, democrats and republicans alike, concerned citizens. to make it seem because this was a tea party response, honest to god, there were probable 150 to 200 responses to the state of the union last night, including fellow democrats who put out their statements tonight saying this is what we heard. i think it's a pretty good thing when the republican party is getting out there with different voices speaking to different elements of the party saying here's why we think we have a different alternative. >> there were a lot of voices out there. i'll throw you a softball. are you more optimistic that 2014 is going to be better than 2013? could it possibly have been worse? >> i think 2013 was pretty good. if you look at chris christie's election, other races, this were
7:50 am
areas i think we obviously wish we had done better in, particularly in virginia, but throughout the country, we did very well. if you look at the republican party today, 29 governors, 59 out of 99 state legislators around the country, 28 secretary of state, 29 attorney generals, we are doing very, very many as a party. one of the highest majorities of the house of representatives, on the cusp of taking the senate back. there's no question that we've had trouble the last two psychs winning the white house. >> you can't lob out those soft balls to me without me pointing out chris christie is having issues and the former governor of virginia is under investigation. thanks for being with us this morning. >> superbowl xlviii is just days away and see soon a new nfl
7:51 am
champion will be crowned. >> superbowl's certainly the pen ultimate prize for anybody may go the game of football, but what would you give up to win it all. knowing long term effects of concussions, that is the question every football player now has to ask themselves when they take the field. an nfl poll asked players if they would try to hide those concussion systems to play in the big game, 85% of 320 players polled said they would still play. remember, that was anonymous. when aljazeera posed the same question on camera, those numbers changed. >> this is the biggest game of our lives, you know, you definitely want to be out there. >> for many mayors, it's a once in a lifetime moment, the chance to play in the superbowl, but heading into this weekend's game, seattle seahawks receiver percy hair bin's status was in doubt after suffering a concussion in the playoff win over the new orleans saints, an issue that caused him to miss the nfc championship game but
7:52 am
won't keep him out of the superbowl. >> i've been practicing the last two weeks and feel fine, good to go. >> his situation is an example of a dilemma. every player longs for a superbowl title but with all the new information about the long term effects of concussions, players would now have to strongly consider whether to sit out or just play through a concussion. >> as a mayor, a competitor one want to be out there with your team going through things like that. what have the situation is, i can't speak for him, you have to ask him, but you want to be out there with your team. >> safety is extremely important. i don't know where that balance or are that fine line is, i wouldn't recommend chancing playing with a concussion. it can have lasting effects. i don't know how each individual guy would choose to handle that. you got to understand the difference between taking a hard
7:53 am
hit and being concussed. >> the decision to may or not to play is actually out of their hands, as they are required to pass numerous tests to make it back on the field. that such was the case for him. >> if you're no the ready, they ain't going to let you out there, but i'm sure if he's not, he would still want to play, because the magnitude of the game and how much he can help his team. it will be a tough decision. i'll try to get out there no matter what. >> if injured during the game, the adrenaline can get the best of a mayor, such as green bay tackle who went back into the game against the niners without cleared by doctors. actions like those can have serious consequences. for some, it's a no brainer when it comes to concussions. no game for them is worth a chance of long term brain damage, not even the superbowl. >> at the end of the day, i'm a father and person before anything, so i've never had a
7:54 am
concussion, nor would my wife be happy if i did that. i don't think percy would do that, either. >> more and more players will have to decide if the pursuit of a championship outweighs the long term health effects of a concussion. michael eaves, aljazeera. >> percy will practice for the seahawks today and is on target to play sunday against the broncos. >> it's going to be an exciting game. >> thank you very much. >> traveling to the heavens, hard on the health for some astronauts. >> the new health warning for babies born premature. how it could create breathing problems later in life. >> in the last five years 80,000 refugees came to the us from myanmar. why the number is so large and how they're impacting local
7:55 am
7:56 am
7:57 am
>> good morning, welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. >> i'm stephanie sy. let's get a look at precipitation across the u.s. today. >> two big areas we're watching, of course the mess across the south including the freezing rain that will linger even as this moves out, because it's going to stay that cold. that is moving out of the area, but a lot of gridlock across the region. in the other area we're watching, this is really beneficial rain but the west coast, we have had significant drought up and down the coastline. some of this even starts to move into california tomorrow, which is beneficial. this is a reservoir. it is almost empty. this is in san jose, but a lot of places haven't gotten rain in a month. we got a little this month here but fresno, one of 17 communities in california that they say could be dry in the next two to four months could finally see rain.
7:58 am
this is that he didn't this morning. look at all the cars on one side that have gotten stuck because of the ice, people trying to get home from yesterday still. >> the aljazeera news continues. >> back in just two and a half minutes. >> i'm back. i'm not going anywhere this time. >> only on al jazeera america. al jazeera america. we understand that every news story begins and ends with people. >> the efforts are focused on rescuing stranded residents. >> we pursue that story beyond the headline, pass the spokesperson, to the streets. >> thousands of riot police deployed across the capital. >> we put all of our global resources behind every story. >> it is a scene of utter devastation. >> and follow it no matter where it leads - all the way to you. al jazeera america, take a new look at news.
7:59 am
8:00 am
real reporting that brings you the world. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america. >> a deep freeze brings the deep south to the a complete stand still, dumping snow and ice in places that usually don't see any. >> when our differences shut down government o. threaten the full faith and credit of the united states, we are not doing right by the american people. >> president obama calling on congress to work together to get things done or he'll do it
8:01 am
himself. >> government protestors in ukraine vowing to not give in until the country's president steps down. >> college football mayors trying to start a union. why they contend they should be covered under the that is's th r laws. >> good morning within welcome to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. the deep freeze in the deep south, a massive snowstorm crippling cities and stranding people in their cars, homes and schools. this was atlanta georgia where the roads caused gridlock, some people spending 10 hours trying to get home last night, the storm practically shutting down the atlanta airport. flights across the country have been affected by this storm. we have more on how the storm paralyzed the south. >> this is crazy out here. >> the south under siege, as
8:02 am
potentially record breaking winter weather shamed several states. in alabama, trucks are spinning out on the streets and cars flipping over on snow covered highways. unaccustomed to these dangerous road conditions and some cities without salt or sand trucks, many drivers gave up driving. >> people abandoned their cars and stuck in the middle of the street, so we couldn't get by. >> chaos in the carolinas, snow sleet and freezing rain made for such chicago conditions oh on the roads, bridges were hut down. over the border in north carolina, the governor declared a state of emergency with temperatures falling below freezing. airports are feeling the freeze, too, with thousands of nights canceled. deeper south in louisiana and the city of new orleans is also in a state of emergency. two major thorough fairs shut
8:03 am
down. >> in texas, emergency workers responded to more than 300 classes. entennessee, students were stuck at schools. >> it was kind of stressful not knowing what would happen. >> southerners only have to stick it out a few more days. temperatures are expected to climb in the 50's by the weekend. >> atlanta well known for its heavy traffic, though in snow and ice and you have a recipe for disaster. our own robert ray found that out the hard way. he ended up sliding off the road trying to get to work this morning and joins us by phone this morning. how are you doing, first of all? >> good morning. i'm fine. the car is not so good, but everybody is safe, so that's excellent. we were trying to get to our satellite truck this morning,
8:04 am
stranded off another interstate yesterday because of the weather, and of course, the streets in and around atlanta are ice sheets right now, so as i learned the hard way, coming down a steep slope, trying to avoid another vehicle that was coming up the steep slope, we both zig zagged and i ended up in an embankment, the other guy in the other embankment, but everybody ok. this morning is absolute reality check as people spent most of their day questioned in unbelievable traffic, i personally spent nine hours to go 20 miles. many vehicles stranded on the sides of roads this morning. people sort of scratching their head to now how do we get our vehicles, where do we go from here. a baby girl was born on interstate 285 in a vehicle yesterday, as a police officer and the husband of the woman defender the baby, a healthy
8:05 am
baby, so lots of stories like that here this morning in atlanta. >> have those cars that we saw been stuck in traffic all night long? >> many have. i arrived about 2:00 a.m. this morning and it was still gridlock on the interstate and also the side streets. a lot of people just abandoned their cars, so there are hundreds if not thousands of cars that are lining streets and on top of that, school buses. here's the issue. yesterday, school was not canceled, and so when the snow began, the city and the counties surrounding atlanta decided to close school early. the problem is the snow and ice had already begun and school buses because of the hills weren't able to traverse that.
8:06 am
many kids were stuck on the buses, hundreds of kids spent the night in their schools, because the parents who were in the traffic couldn't get to the schools to pick up the kids and the school buses were stranded, and so we have shelters that were put in place by local districts. in fact, there are also over 50 makeshift shelters in atlanta right now that are housing many of those stranded commuters that abandoned their cars. >> robert, we're looking at these images and they are incredible. we are glad that you are safe. we feel for all of those people sometime sitting in traffic in hasn't. robert ray joining us live, thank you very much, by phone. for more on the storm, we turn now to nicole mitchell. >> we were just looking at pictures of atlanta, and it was interesting, because traffic, it was rush hour all going one direction. one side was clear, one side gridlock. the problem with that is the snowplows aren't able to get to
8:07 am
the one side. one side was reasonably well mod, the other side with cars abandoned, you can't get the plows through, so it takes time. we still have the cold air, so still snow this morning but a lot of this is moving out quickly, which is good, because we don't need anymore and it has extended a little of that nothing the northeast. the south took the bigger impact especially with the areas of freezing rain and snow on top just making everything an ice rink. there is all of this continuing to move out of the northeast, as well. we have a lot of ice on the trees this morning. that's caused tens of thousands of people without power, because the weight on the power lines can snap things. temperatures aren't going up today. with temperatures around freezing, we might brief live get a little melting, but not enough and anything that mets will refreeze as temperatures go down. we are meaningsing atlanta because it has so many
8:08 am
commuters, but these problems go all the way from the deep south, texas to the carolinas, we are see that go icing. it is going to be a slow go and not moving out anytime soon until we start melting. >> the state of the union address, president obama says he wants 2014 to be his year of action. he's pledging to work on behalf of all americans with or without congress, the president pitching is new agenda last night. he promised to bother education and combat economic inequality. the president urging a divided congress to work together. the penalty says he is willing to use executive orders if necessary to get things done. >> the president of the united states. >> the lowest unemployment rate in five years, a rebounding housing market. our deficits cut by more than half. >> the president pledged to work
8:09 am
with republicans to keep the momentum going. >> let's see where else we can make progress together. let's make this or of action. >> mr. obama warned that he's ready and willing to go around congress if they won't go along with hills ideas. >> america does not stand still and neither will i, so wherever and whenever i can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more american families, that's what i'm going to do. >> the president promised to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers next year to $10.10 an hour and directing the treasury to help individuals create retirement savings accounts. the white house that said 2014 will be a year of action, which makes plain wipe the president focused more on domestic issues that affect every day americans improving job education and equal pay for women. >> 2014, it's an embarrassment. women deserve equal pay for equal work. it is time to do away with
8:10 am
workplace policies that belong in a madman episode. >> on the international front, the penalty said a nuclear agreement with iran may not work, but threatened to veto any new sanctions while talks with tehran continue. >> for the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. if iran's leaders do not seize this opportunity, then i will be the first to call for more sanctions. >> meanwhile, republicans pointing at continued divisions in the country offered at least two different responses, the official response delivered by congresswoman kathy mcmorris rogers, the highest the ranking republican woman. >> the penalty's policies are making people's lives harder. republicans have plans to close the gap, plans that will focus on jobs first without more spending, government bailouts and red tape. >> and another on behalf of the tea party. >> he asked for more of the same
8:11 am
as if the solution to inequality were more inequality. >> as for taking action on his own by passing congress. >> i say that we have a constitution, it's the rules by which we run the country. it's worked for a couple hundred years. i don't think any of us appreciate it, not citizens, not members of congress. we're supposed to work together. >> mike viqueira, aljazeera, washington. >> lots of talking points, so what jumped out at you? >> what struck me is that the 2013 speech a year ago, the president laid out 40 agenda items, very specific ideas on immigration reform, for example, also gun control, and it went from there, climate change action, things like that. this year, the speech was much more sweeping and didn't go nearly into the specific details, so not as much room for failure, because congress didn't jump onboard with most of his 2013 goals. i talked to democratic representative from texas last
8:12 am
night, very involved in immigration issues, advocate of major reform and a pathway to citizenship. that he said he was ok with the fact that the president went general on that topic because that gives members of congress, republicans included room to negotiate, room to work behind the scenes. he was ok with the way the president skimmed the surface on some of the items. also, as we talked about, somewhere in come inequality but some specifics there about how the president wants to move forward on his own using executive action, and it's a lot of working with corporations, working with philanthropic organizations to jump start initiatives ranging from helping kids in prek to getting men of color to have more opportunities. there are philosophical issues that he's trying to get outsiders beyond the walls of government involved in. >> thank you very much. >> also during a state of the union address, the president sending out a special shoutout
8:13 am
to an army ranger injured serving in afghanistan, the president meeting him in 2010 said he was impressed by the sergeant and asked him to stay in touch. heart this year he was wounded from a are the side bomb, was in a coma and left partially paralyzed and brain damaged. he said he does not quit, the young soldier receiving a standing ovation from the entire chamber. >> a reporter asked the wrong question and things took a wrong turn after the president's speech. >> republican michael rim is facing a probe into campaign funds. grim continued the that's off camera, saying he will break that reporter in half.
8:14 am
the station has asked him to apologize. he says he was the victim of a cheap shot. >> a former ukrainian president is warning parliament that the country is on the brink of a civil war. the president is calling on both sides to reach a compromise as parliament debates whether or not they will provide amnesty to those arrested when tough antti protest laws were put in place. we are joined live from kiev. the government repeal would the laws earlier this week, so what's holding them back now from freeing those already in jail? >> first of all, del, you can hear behind me the ukrainian national anthem bunk sung here in the square, so i apologize for the noise. the law has to be signed by the president for it to be totally repealed. the amnesty law hasn't been sorted out yet. that that is a subject of debate in parliament right now.
8:15 am
you talked about horse trading and the political divide on capitol hill, we have a divide here in kiev as the opposition tries to clarify what the amnesty would mean and try and get its supporters onboard. we've seen some movement this afternoon here, as the opposition that convinced its supporters to vacation the agriculture ministry. they took that over late last week, one of their many take overs of government buildings here in kiev and controls the country. that was a move to show the government the opposition does control it's supporters and can move them in and out of the buildings at will. opposition supporters on the square say they are not going anywhere in my there i also no leadership in place or they see concrete steps from the government. little by little, things are moving, but politics still played heavily in parliament. they haven't agreed on an amnesty bill to be passed, let alone vote on it. >> they are celebrating the
8:16 am
concessions like the repeal of the anti protest law and the prime minister that stepped down. dew they see momentum on their side, moving closer to their goal of saying that the president's plan actually backfired? >> the opposition is emboldened. i've seen definitely more vitality in demonstrations here in kiev. these people have no intention of going anywhere until their demands are met and not only the freeing of everybody who has been arrested during the protests, but also they would like to see a change in leadership. they would like to see the president step down. i think he he's really playing for his political life right now and the former president and speaking to parliament this morning called it the most important speech of his hive when he urged politicians here to move forward carefully with caution, thoughtfully, because ukraine stands at the brink he
8:17 am
said of a civil war. ukraine remains divided the west toward europe, the east toward russia. the politicians here are trying to find some way to assuage everybody, but protestors feel they have a lot of power, on the streets in big numbers and being heard by the government. >> jennifer, thank you very much. >> talks over ending syria's civil war still deadlocked as people suffer. delegates in geneva can't reach an agreement on just about anything. >> the college players on one football team now trying to unionize. what they're doing and what the ncaa has to say about it.
8:18 am
8:19 am
>> good morning, welcome back to aljazeera america. i'm del walters. coming up, how the president's state of the union address last night compared to other speeches given by his predecessors. let's find out about the temperatures today. >> a couple differently temperature stories, first the midwest, which first got the
8:20 am
impact of the cold air will start to go up today, but it is settled in for the east coast and south. today will be another chilly day. billings at 30, versus that he didn't at 12. you would be warmer in montana this morning than much of the south. a lot of these temperatures in the keeps, so everything that fell yesterday and a little left today isn't going to melt and those highs will be stuck around the 30-degree mark. with a lot of places not having the snow and ice removal, will just be stuck into the day tomorrow when we get temperatures back in the 40's. that will help us out and 50's by the weekend. until we get those warmer temperatures, we are going to be stuck under all that aisles. >> it is estimated that tens of millions of people watched the state of the union speech last night. the state of the union was once the highest rated television program of the year in many cases, but today, viewers at home are tuning out more and more. some say the speech is too long,
8:21 am
others say too boring. the president's speech just over an hour keeping in line with that 60 thee minutes per address. that is far short of bill clintons record 74 minutes state of the union speech. that speech also. >> resulted 70 a i times by applause. former speech writer for ronald reagan is in washington, d.c. this morning. good morning. >> good morning. >> we have some speeches from presidents past. this one was ronald reagan in 198 significance. take a listen. >> tonight, freedom is on the march. the united states is the economic miracle, the model to which the world once again turns. we stand for an idea who's time is now. only by lifting the weights from the shoulders of all can people truly prosper and can peace among all nations be secured. >> so i have to ask, did president reagan have a hand in shaping that speech and if so,
8:22 am
how much do president's modify what you speechwriters write no. >> first what he said there was the product of what he had stood for and argued for for two decades at the time he gave the speech, starting well before he was president, and also reflected the success of his economic policies and foreign policies at that time. he was going into the 1986 speech with tremendous strength. the amount a president is involved directly in the speech varies tremendously with presidents. some less so, some actually writing it themselves, large pores themselves. in mr. reagan's case, he tended to work through aides, giving direction through aides to the speechwriters, bringing people in to work with the speech writers who would help guide the speech in one direction or
8:23 am
another. i'm speaking now broadly, not just about state of the union addresses. >> let me ask you this. do you think that the presidents when they're delivering these speeches realize that people are watching them and it also has to be to television. bill clinton's speech was so long, a lot of people fell asleep and last night, a supreme court justice fell asleep during the president's speech. >> ronald reagan was in stepsly aware of television. he'd been on television before as part of his profession. he told speechwriters to always remember that when he was on television, he was basically visiting people in their living rooms, and that everything should reflect that, the tone, the way we wrote and the hike. i would say that every president of the modern era is intense hi aware of the television environment of his time. our time now is different than the time when the president
8:24 am
reagan was in the white house. at that time, we had thee networks, and that was pretty much it. now, we have aljazeera, we have large numbers of cable networks. you said that there's some turning away. there are an awful lot of alternatives now, 300 channels, a lot running movies and other alternatives. last night for the first time, the white house went, did a big push on the internet, and that's looking to expand their reach to a different kind of audience. >> i want to take you back to the speech in 1975. a lot of people quote this one as being one of the best or worst depending oh on how you look at it, gerald ford in 1975. >> today, that freshman member from michigan stands where mr. truman stood and i must say
8:25 am
to you that the state of the union is not good. >> not exactly what you expect to hear from the commander in chief. does that kind of somber approach work? >> it was specific to that time and it was appropriate to that time. remember, he had just taken over as president, but he wasn't elected. our first president who was neither elected as president or as vice president. president had resigned, there had been tremendous internal turmoil in the country. he had to establish credibility, and start the process of bringing the country together, which in fact, he was extremely successful at, first in a partisan sense, he almost got reelected, but in a broader sense, by the time his presidency -- he almost got elected the first time. >> exactly. >> years later, but by the time he left office and president carter took over, watergate was
8:26 am
pretty much that behind us, and all of that turmoil was pretty much behind us, and the country was starting to look forward again. it was an important moment. >> he was popular as a past president. i want to show you another past president, bill clinton, recognized at one of the best. >> the era of big government is over, but we can't go back to the era of fending for yourself. we have tag forward to the era of working together as a community, as a team, as one america with all of us reaching across these lines that divide us. >> he was a good speaker, but also long-winded. your reaction. >> well, that particular moment came just after he had -- at the -- in the mid term elections of his first term had lost the democratic majority, much as mr. obama did his first mid term election, and he was acknowledging that.
8:27 am
then he was trying to turn that to an agenda for the future. obviously, he was an effective president, and in his way, that turning to the future got him reelected, but he also achieved a number of things in his presidency. he did go on for a long time. it probably wasn't the best thing, but, you know, it worked for him and i would suspect for the country. >> i would suspect we will be hearing from him a lot in the future, as well. thanks for being with us and thanks for the perspective. >> when we come back, talks over ending syria's civil war are dead locked. also, we'll talk about president obama and that executive order trying to get things done. what the message said to congressional members. we're going to talk to one of them about it. >> one of the players on college football team now trying to unionize.
8:28 am
why they're doing it and that what the ncaa has to say about it. >> finally breaking the silence on the bullying scandal that rocked the nfl, coming up. ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america so many money stories sound
8:29 am
complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down the confusing financial speak and make it real. the congress to hopefully shed line on immigration reform as a path to citizenship. for the center of american progress, he's in washington d.c. this morning. and good morning, mr. fietz. >> good morning, del. >> are you confident that this year immigration reform passes and are you sure why it pass it's. >> i'm confident that the president will be talking about the importance of find of bipartisan agreement with this congress, and this is obviously the issue that seems more teed up to have the senate has passed a bill by a bipartisan super majority and now it's up to the house to pass it. and we know that the pass republican conference is meeting in a retreat this week, and one
8:30 am
of the things they will be discussing is how to move forward on immigration reform. >> welcome back. these are the stories we are following at this hour. six states declaring states of emergency after a wintery mix slammed the deep south. in georgia, drivers were stranded for hours on roads. state troopers said to be brought in to rescue students stuck at schools. more than 900 traffic accidents ohen tuesday alone in atlanta. >> a former ukrainian president is warning the country is on the brink of a civil war, the parliament considering am mess city for arrested protestors. the countries current president
8:31 am
wants the protestors to leave the buildings they occupy. the protestors won't agree. >> the president's state of the union address have some saying he makes promises he won't or can't keep. he touched on national security last night, but that's what the senate is going to be talking about today. >> president obama skipped over this one with a delicate touch and even though talked about going his own way on many issues, when it comes to the n.s.a., he called for congress to work with him. sharing the responsibility on finding that balance between privacy and security. even though president obama didn't dwell much an that, it had been a hot topic today on capitol hill. torn general eric holder is testifying before the senate judiciary committee. the torn general has until march 28 to come up with a plan to get that bulk data out of the
8:32 am
hands of government and into the possession and oversight of a second party. senators will be pressing him on that. that's not the only intelligence-related hearing we'll see today. the senate intelligence panel will talk about worldwide security threats the with some heavy hitters. we'll see james clapper here, the director of national intelligence, heads of the f.b.i. and c.i.a. when it comes to worldwide threat and security, they'll be talking about the sochi olympics, among other things. that's right around the corner and there are a lot of questions about just how safe it will be, so a busy morning here. just because the excitement of last night is over doesn't mean the work won't continue. >> the work neve stops, thank you very much. >> it is now day six of negotiations aimed at ending syria's bloody civil war. tuesday the peace talks were cut short after angry exchanges between two sides. neither side appears to be willing to give any ground. >> it hasn't been easy, it will
8:33 am
not be easy, but both sides are sticking until the end. they are not going to leave before friday when talks are scheduled to end. those words by the u.n. special envoy, the international community determined to strike some sort of deal. if any, any little progress so they can push this peace process forward. the syrian opposition presented their proposal on their future vision of syria, mentioning the need for a democratic state busied on the rule of law, to respect human rights, diversity, promote reconciliation and hold those accountable for war crimes on that both sides. there seems to be no mention of the explicit words political transition. the strategy is to take this step-by-step, reach some sort of deal, maybe both sides can agree to the future will be a democratic state, they may disagree who's going to lead it, but trying to come up with a
8:34 am
working document to push this process forward and future meetings held. >> those peace talks are schedule would to last until friday. >> the president's state of the union speech included talking up the affordable care act. he urged republican to say give up attempts to repeal the law now, i do not expect to convince my republican friends on the merits of this law. [ laughter ] >> but i know that the american people are not interested in refighting old battles, so again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, increase choice, tell america what you'd do differently. let's see if the numbers add up but let's not have another 40 something vote to say repeal a law that's already helping
8:35 am
millions of americans, like amanda. good morning. the president talked up the successes of the affordable care act. how are the exchanges performing at this hour? >> better than they were in early october for certain. clearly has improved in terms of accessibity. on the front end, people are able to sign up now for coverage. we still don't have a lot of repairs on the back end, that is to say, actually i should say that a lot of the back end has not yet been built. that by back end, i mean the part of the system that will actually send money to insurance companies, and in particular those federal subsidies that will help many buy coverage.
8:36 am
the state exchanges, a number of them have been very, very successful, a handful are still having problems in enrollment and massachusetts, maryland, hawaii, it has been very low relative to expectations. >> when we first talking about this, 76% once said they had negative thoughts about the affordable care act, but as more and more people signed up, that number changed, now down to 66%. is time on the side of the white house when it come comes to obamacare? >> this is more of a marathon than a sprint. i think it will take a while longer before reality catches up with perception. we're also in an environment where there has been enormous
8:37 am
criticism of the affordable care act or obamacare. >> the republicans have voted on this more than 40 times to do away that with obamacare. what happens if they succeed? can the, i guess the clock be reversed in this case and what happens to try to take back obamacare? what happens in the health care industry? >> first of all, the president will never sign legislation that would substantially alter the affordable care act, so i think it's a hypothetical that really until the president leaves office has really no basis in reality. >> the public needs to understand what would happen if f. somehow they were to succeed. >> well, keep in mind, there was a broad coalition that came together behind the scenes to make the law passible. the insurance industry, the hospital sector, the pharmaceutical sector and the not because everybody loved every provision of the law, but
8:38 am
because everybody understood something needed to be done. in fact for the insurance industry, this really was the last gasp of trying to really shore up a segment of the industry that is to say individual insurance that was fundamentally broken and everybody understood that because of the combination of the system being broken, costs going up that eventually private insurance coverage in the country was probably going to fall apart, so one of the sectors that has the biggest interest in preserving the law at this point even though they don't like every piece of it is the insurance industry. i think that you would see a ground swell of people coming together once again to thwart, repeal, not again because they hike all of it, but because they understood that given the situation, it was the best possible set of options for those industries, those sectors as a whole. >> mr. patter? >> i agree with that. the o testimony was completely
8:39 am
unsustainable, and thought really only the individual market, the employer based system was also unraveling, eroding. insurance companies realized it was unsustainable and even the insurance industry came to support change. they were very much involved in helping to shape the legislation. they don't like some of the consumer protections and regulations, but it's better than the alternative. >> thank you both for being with us today. >> it has been one month since our aljazeera colleague and two producers were detained in egypt. they're caused of spreading highs harmful to state security and joining a terrorist group. colleagues, supporters and family members joining together at a news conference in hon don calling on egyptian authorities to release the men. >> for a great names like egypt to treat people who are doing
8:40 am
their job at journalists, which is an ethical, decent job, which all decent societies need, for egypt, of all countries to treat journalists in this way is a shame on that nation. >> aljazeera continues to maintain the they they ar they , calling for their immediate release. >> superbowl forth eight just days away. the broncos and seahawks facing their toughest opponent on tuesday, media day. jessica taft is here. >> this is the week of course whether you're a football fan or not, everybody tunes into watch this one, but the big game isn't the only thing that makes the headlines. media day for the superbowl has taken on a life of its own and tuesday, traditional sports writers and broadcasters get to the event, thrown in the mix of models and celebrities, clowns
8:41 am
and super heroes. it is the circus meets the red carpet where just about everything goes. 6,329 credentials were administered for the media day. some sports reporters did manage to sneak a few actual football questions in for the starting q.b.'s. >> it will be great to go get payton. obviously it's not me versus him, but it's a guy i have so much respect for and all the amazing things he has done over his career. he's built this unbelievable legacy and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. one day i want to be like him in terms of the way he thinks, the way he is just a master of the game. >> yeah i've been asked about my legacy since i was about 25 years old, which i'm not sure you can have a legacy when you're 25 years old or 37. i thought you had to be 70 to have a legacy. i'm not 100% sure what the word
8:42 am
even means. i'm still in the middle of my career. i'm down the home stretch of my career, but i'm still in it. >> well said, payton. here's how the rest of wednesday is going to shape up. both teams are going to have media availability this morning. in the afternoon, both teams hit the practice field. today, seattle first with a practice a 2:25 at the jets facility while the broncos practice at three at giants practice facility. seattle's wide receiver percy harvin expected to practice today. >> jonathan martin's bullying game against teammate caused a fire storm that resulted in martin leaving the team midway through the season and incognito suspended. for the first time since that
8:43 am
unusual case, martin broke his silence, telling forward nfl coach tony dungy on nbc what finally made him walk away. he said i've a grown man, i've been in hocker rooms with that one instance doesn't bother me. it's theence of it. i wish i could have had more tools to solve my situation. i felt trapped. >> the other hot button topics of the nfl this season has been concussions and former lions running back is suing the league and helmet maker for his injuries. he suffered five concussions in his career, two at college and thee during his time in detroit, one of them caused him to miss an entire season. major league payable has taken a step to protect pitchers in the field, approving the first protective cap with energy diffusing plates to protect
8:44 am
pitchers from those scary line drives you see all the time. this is going to be six or seven-ounces bigger and an inch wider. >> by the way, i'm in the middle of my career, too. >> i am sticking with i'm on the home stretch. >> we're not there yet. >> a little ways to go. >> some interesting images of pope francis from a magazine cover you to some super graffiti. >> this is a live look at north carolina. they don't usual get snow. they love it when this happens. a different picture down south where thousands are still stranded in traffic. nicole mitchell with the forecast, next.
8:45 am
>> no doubt about it, innovation changes
8:46 am
>> welcome back to aljazeera america. straight ahead, we'll tell you why some northwestern university
8:47 am
football players trying to make history but not for the number of games they win. they wanted to join a labor union. they could be in for a battle. >> the football may go wildcats bring millions of dollars to northwestern university when they take to the gridiron, but say they are on the hook for medical expenses or stripped from scholarships if injured while playing. that that's why kain colter in leading the charge. >> athletes don't have a voice, they don't have a seat at the table. the current model reassembles a dictator ship where the ncaa places rules on players without negotiation. >> the president of the new college athletes players association filed a petition on behalf of the team with the national labor relations board. a hearing on the petition is scheduled for next week. >> within a period of 60 years, the ncaa knowingly established a
8:48 am
pay for play system while using terms like student athlete to try to skirt labor hows. >> the ncaa argues student athletes can't organize because may go sports is volunteer, saying: >> there's been success on college campuses organizing students who are teaching assistants, because they get paid for work, but organizing student athletes could be more challenging. >> labor professor says the challenge will be convincing the nlrb that the players are in fact workers. >> i think that for student athletes, it's that transforming that perception on cam pulse for both the athletes, as well as the campus community that, you know, what they're doing is in fact labor. >> even if the nlrb says the wildcats can organize, an appeal
8:49 am
is likely, so could be a few years before players win representation. by that time, the team members filing the petition will have already left the playing field. aljazeera, chicago. >> only college football players and men's basketball players will be able to join the union. they say those two sports make the best case that you are employees of the nc ax a. >> during the state of the union address, the president called out congress for their bitter divide, saying he'll use executive powers to get things done if they don't start getting together. >> this town has been consumed by the proper size of the federal government. it's an important debate, one that dates back to our rear founding. when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy, when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the united states, then we are not
8:50 am
doing right by the american people. >> new york congressman charlie wrangle joins us from capitol hill. good morning. >> good morning. >> president last night saying he will go it alone if need be. is that a good strategy? >> not as a legislator, but it could be the only strategy, because the president that an obligation to do all that he can to protect the united states economically and defensively. he may not have impressed a lot of republicans but i certainly hope the spirit of economic justice that he perpetrated in his speech that he is asking one thing. be allow voluntaries on the issues. immigration, job opportunity, a living wage, increase in making possible for a job creation,
8:51 am
infrastructure, i felt proud as an american last night, because i'm convinced republican or democratic, the president was speaking from his heart for the heart of the american people. >> i have been in town for a long time, and i've heard president after president after president talk about getting things done, not just this president. one of the things they always talk about is fixing the broken infrastructure. if a republican president can't get it done with a democratic congress and a democratic president can't get it done with a republican congress, is the big ticket like an eisenhower highway administration a thing of the past? >> i don't think so, because if you're going to just have a negative attitude in stopping the president, where clearly republican leaders indicated that as soon as the president was elected, sooner or later whether by democrats or
8:52 am
republicans, the american people are just going to get fed up with it. >> the polls indicate the american people are already fed up with it. >> well, that was my point, and they are so fed up that i don't think anyone can contradict that there is no national republican party to go into 2016. they're going to have to make a decision whether or not they think just attacking the president, just putting stumbling blockion there are going to make them able to put up a candidate for the next presidency. that so you cannot throw mud without getting your hands dirty and there's evidence that the entire congress is going down in connect with the american people, because they have voted 40 times to repeal a how that they know they can't repeal, just to embarrass the president. >> congressman, on that though, the president in a recent article, hinting that he believes that race is actually shaping much of the agenda against him, do you agree? >> well, i don't remember the
8:53 am
penalty saying that, because a lot of people in america unfortunately don't want to talk about race, and you can't deal with the problem unless you talk about it. all i can say is that if you follow the states that really hated president lincoln, if you follow the states that had the confederate flag and find out where they are in opposition to the president, the confederate flag still waves for some of the tea party people down in washington, d.c. there's no question that we've come a long way on the racial issue in the united states of america, but until we acknowledge the fact that some people judge people just based on the color that they have, then america cannot really do all that we hope that she can do, so color is a factor.
8:54 am
>> are you saying many of the tea party members can't see past the color of the president's skin? >> i don't think that they're willing to admit it, but if you see where they are on voting rights and you see where they are on restricting black folks from voting, you would find that their behavior is negative and consistent with that of the dixiecrats and of course republicansological lost out a great deal with them, but it's the same people, the same states, the same problem and home run consistent in trying to keep minorities from voting. >> thank you very much. we want to get a last look at the weather. >> it's ban rough go for the deep south, atlanta got straight snow. we've heard a lot about the freezing rain, you know, a little moisture on the road freezes with the cold temperatures, making it icy. a couple of million people
8:55 am
caused that grid hock in just 2.6 inches of snow yesterday. the rest of the south, we had freezing rain, so a lot of places are an ice rink this morning. we still have a little sliver from charleston south carolina into the florida panhandle with the freezing rain this morning. the other places, if you're already in it, it's not going to get warm enough to melt it. it's going to take until tomorrow or friday before that starts improving. most of the little snow that moves through the northeast is moving off. here's how this movers through the day. we are starting to get out of this with florida into the rain this afternoon with that same system if that temperatures remaining cold. anything that will freeze is still a mess. >> rolling stone magazine fame owls for cover photos, check all the latest. it features a smiling pope francis. last month he appeared on the
8:56 am
cover of "time" as man of the year. some graffiti portrays him as a superhero, showing the pope in flight. that's going to do it for this hour of aljazeera mark. thanks for spending part of your morning with us. we're back in two and a half minutes with head hines. we want to leave you with an inspirational moment from last night's state of the union address, a standing ovation for this man who was wounded with a road side bottom in 2010. >> corey remsberg -- one else will ask. >> it seems like they can't agree to anything in washington no matter what. >> antonio mora, award winning and hard hitting.
8:57 am
>> we've heard you talk about the history of suicide in your family. >> there's no status quo, just the bottom line. >> but, what about buying shares in a professional athlete? again by having the president making this pointing continuously, it causes the people to say you know what, we should examine this issue. most of the jobs we are talking about you can't send those overseas. >> right, they have to be service jobs. in a sense though mr. anderson have you seen people galvanized, people wanting to work now to actually see if they can make the difference on this? maybe it wouldn't have happened before the government shutdown. >> before the government shutdown in the smithsonian, it took the government to see how serious this is, when you don't have a job and your next paycheck isn't guaranteed.
8:58 am
now we have the majority and we are in negotiation with the union to actually bring the union in there to get a pay raise and more benefits. >> thank you gentlemen for being with us. primetime news. >> welcome to al jazeera america. >> stories that impact the world, affect the nation and touch your life. >> i'm back. i'm not going anywhere this time. >> only on al jazeera america. real reporting that brings you the world. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america.
8:59 am
9:00 am
>> president obama calls for a year of action and challenges congress in the state of union. and profootballer hall of famer on new technology to protect kids and pros. keith seeger mourned. hate the trailers at the movies? how that may change. i'm antonio mora. welcome to "consider this". here is more on what is ahead. >> mr speaker, the president of the uned


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on